Training on a treadmill can have a beneficial effect on persons who have suffered a spinal cord injury. However, the therapy seems to be only effective in those cases where there is little inflammation as a result of the injury.
Those were the findings of a new study that was conducted on mice recently. The researchers experimented on mice that had suffered a spinal cord injury, and began the treadmill training just a few days after the injury.
The researchers observed the signs of inflammation in the lumbar region of the spine at least 10 segments below the injury, within 24 hours after suffering the injury. This is believed to be the very first time that research has shown that spinal injuries can create spinal impairments many segments away from the site of the injury.
Some of the mice were given treadmill training during the period in which the inflammation after the injury was high. The researchers found that the mice that were administered the treadmill therapy during this period of time, received no tangible benefits from the training. However, when the mice were given the treadmill training during those periods in which inflammation was at its minimal, there was a substantial improvement in their condition.
The researchers found that the success of the treadmill therapy was crucially dependent on the levels of inflammation after the surgery. The good news however, is that this inflammation can be controlled using normal antibiotics.